10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

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Good morning, team.

1. Qantas boss Alan Joyce says he could have up to half the airline’s domestic network back in the air by July if states ease restrictions. “We don’t think we’ll go back to 100 per cent honestly in July but we have the capability to easily add 40 to 50 per cent of the capacity that we had before COVID-19 in that month and then a ramp up even further every other month,” he said on Tuesday.

2. The company has also laid out its COVID-19 guidelines for when domestic travel does resume, including (non-compulsory) masks for all passengers and sequenced boarding. Under its “Fly Well” program, passengers on Qantas and Jetstar flights will asked to limit movement in the cabin once they’re seated, and will be encouraged to use contactless check-in.

3. On Monday, it was announced China would pull the trigger on crippling Australian barley tariffs, with the Commerce Ministy accusing Australian farmers of dumping. Today comes news the Australia is complaining to China there is “no evidence” of dumping behaviour and the allegations are unfounded.

4. Three Hero Sushi franchises have been found underpaying 91 staff by a little over $700,000. The employees, many of whom are migrant workers, were paid as little as $12 an hour in cash, with the owners saying it was an effort “to stay competitive”. Federal Court Justice Geoffrey Flick said documents had been falsified to try to conceal the wrongdoing. The company has been slapped with a record $891,000 as a result.

5. A few updates on the reopening effort here in Australia. NSW will reopen galleries, libraries and museums from June 1, and regional travel will be permitted. Queensland is remaining firm on its border closures, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk saying they could remain so until September.

6. Spotify has inked an exclusive deal with podcaster Joe Rogan, reportedly worth over $100 million. Why is that a big deal, apart from the eye-watering dollar figure? The Joe Rogan Experience is among the biggest podcasts in the world, being downloaded 190 million times per month per Rogan’s own figures. Spotify is consolidating a podcasting empire, having acquired Parcast, Anchor, The Ringer and Gimlet Media in the past year. Spotify’s stock surged 11% on the news.

7. The Fair Work Commission has approved a controversial bid from McDonald’s to temporarily cut part-time hours and overtime penalties. The company has pitched it as a way of accommodating a fall in demand – and a way of stopping job losses – amid the coronavirus pandemic; an argument the FWC has backed. However, in response to opposition from some quarters like the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union, it has limited their duration and introduced extra safeguards.

8. Click Frenzy Mayhem, the big online sale, started last night and is still ongoing. There are deals to be had, if you’re quick. Here’s a curated list of discounts, if you find yourself with an itchy purchase finger this morning. I think the name ‘Click Frenzy Mayhem’ is a little much personally, but I’m no marketing guru.

9. 13cabs is continuing its quite aggressive pivot into new markets as taxi ridership takes a serious hit through the coronavirus pandemic. Already having moved into the delivery space, it is now becoming a food courier – promising commission-free delivery for restaurants, which don’t like paying titans like Uber Eats and Deliveroo. The company is being pretty loud about it, too. “We think enough is enough with big global platforms taking 30% from restaurant and café owners on every meal ordered, contributing to over the top marketing programs and celebrity endorsements, gouging away profits from our local Aussie businesses,” said Andrew Skelton, CEO of A2B Australia, the parent company of 13cabs.

10. We’re hearing a lot about tech companies embracing the whole remote working thing as a more permanent arrangement. But not everyone is. Apple is reportedly asking some employees to return to work throughout May and early June, signalling a departure from the reopening strategies of other major tech firms. The move illustrates how critical hardware is to Apple’s business and how its culture of secrecy means it operates differently than other Silicon Valley companies.


Dunno if any of you have been watching “The Last Dance” on Netflix – I have, and have thoroughly enjoyed it – but I found this writeup of the final episodes over at Vulture to be fantastic.

Got any hints, tips or gossip – or just something you think Business Insider should know? Let me know at [email protected].

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